Whisky's association with leather armchairs and rooms that smell of rich mahogany isn't entirely unjustified. The spirit has a strong collector culture – perhaps even stronger than wine's – which can sometimes involve vast sums of money.

There are hundreds of outstanding bottles available in bottle shops, but if you want to get your hands on something rarer, it takes serious dedication. You'll need to bid in an auction, or claim the whisky with a deposit before it's even left the barrel.

Or you could show up to one of Sydney's many dedicated whisky bars, which do all this for you. Much easier. Of course, getting the whisky (or "whiskey" if it comes from America or Ireland) is only half the job. All the bars on this list have the service, knowledge and ambience to back it up. Get sipping.

The Doss House

A whisky bar in a former opium den/bootmaker’s workshop/doss house.

77-79 George Street, The Rocks
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Alleyway

Seventy-five whiskies in 26 square metres.

Shop 3 200 George Street, Sydney

The Roosevelt

The Eau de Vie team always has time for whisky, and this Prohibition-themed bar is no exception.

32 Orwell Street, Potts Point
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Grain

The name describes the product and the setting alike.

199 George Street, Sydney
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Uncle Ming's

China's not known for whisky, so this opium-den-like bar specialises in the next closest thing: Japanese whisky.

Lower Ground 55 York Street, Sydney
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Eau De Vie

Regulars have their own lockers for storing bottles of their favourite whisky.

229 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst
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Mjølner

Make like a Viking and drink one of 500 whiskies from a horn.

267 Cleveland Street, Redfern
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The Wild Rover

Brings some craic (Irish for good times) and Ireland's finest distillers to Surry Hills.

75 Campbell Street, Surry Hills

The Baxter Inn

The back bar holds an unbelievable 800 whiskies.

Rear Basement 152-156 Clarence St, Sydney

Tokyo Bird

Make like a salaryman and pair your yakitori with a fine Japanese whisky.

Shop 2 226-228 Commonwealth Street (enter via Belmore Lane), Surry Hills
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The Whisky Room at The Clock Hotel

Stocks more than 100 whiskies from around the world.

Upstairs 470 Crown Street, Surry Hills
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Stitch

Stitch has one of the smaller whisky lists of this group, but the staff knows its stuff.

61 York Street, Sydney

Shady Pines Saloon

Proof that whisky bars don't have to be subdued, rarefied sorts of places.

Shop 4 256 Crown Street, Darlinghurst

Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern

A haven for whisky and cognac lovers.

60 Park Street, Sydney